Police: Hostage standoff ends peacefully in Pittsburgh
September 21st, 2012
01:59 PM ET

Police: Hostage standoff ends peacefully in Pittsburgh

[Updated at 1:59 p.m.] The man suspected of taking a hostage in Pittsburgh's Gateway Center high-rise Friday morning has surrendered peacefully, and his hostage was not harmed, Pittsburgh Police Chief Nathan Harper said.

[Updated at 1:20 p.m.]Police are negotiating with a "relatively calm" gunman believed to be holding at least one person hostage in a downtown Pittsburgh high-rise, the city's police chief said Friday.

Police have identified the man, a former military member with a criminal record, and they brought his mother to the scene, Chief Nathan Harper said.

The suspect walked into CW Breitsman Associates' office Friday morning and asked for a particular man, so police believe a male hostage was targeted, Harper said. CW Breitsman handles money for pension funds. The chief said the gunman never worked there, and it's unclear how he was related to the company.

The situation is contained to one room of a suite on the 16th floor of Gateway Center Building No. 3, Harper said. As of 10:55 a.m., no one had been hurt and no shots had been fired, he added.

Police received calls shortly after 8:15 a.m., reporting a man with a gun. Some witnesses reported he was carrying two duffel bags. Harper said the suspect also claimed to have a bomb.

Several people who work in the building told local television stations that police had evacuated them from the building. Harper said since the incident was contained to one room, evacuations were minimal, and people were still occupying other parts of the skyscraper.

Jim Garra, who works at AXA on the 16th floor, told WTAE that when he arrived at work around 8:10 a.m., security officers were milling about. When he took the elevator to his office, he found a commotion, including a woman he described as "hysterical, on the phone," describing an intruder in the building. Garra said he locked the door to his office until police came to evacuate it.

Public transportation has been shut down at Gateway Center, and police have blocked off nearby roads as well.

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Filed under: Crime • Pennsylvania
soundoff (135 Responses)
  1. Sinfully Yours

    His only demand is a oneway ticket out of the dump that is Pittsburgh. ;-)

    September 21, 2012 at 9:53 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Shane

      Your clearly from Clevland or Filthadelphia

      September 21, 2012 at 9:57 am | Report abuse |
    • Shane

      Cleveland****

      September 21, 2012 at 9:58 am | Report abuse |
    • Sinfully Yours

      Guess again. :-D

      September 21, 2012 at 10:30 am | Report abuse |
    • Shane

      Somewhere in Ohio maybe.

      September 21, 2012 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
    • Sinfully Yours

      So, because I don't care for the steel city I must be from Ohio of Phillie?!

      Actually, I am from Lubec, Maine. :-P

      September 21, 2012 at 10:37 am | Report abuse |
    • DrinkTheKoolaid

      LOL. Filthadelphia! I'm going to steal this one... Thanks!

      September 21, 2012 at 11:01 am | Report abuse |
  2. YOUR WRONG IM RIGHT

    your whats wrong with this country

    September 21, 2012 at 9:56 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Say it louder

      Who is whats wrong?

      September 21, 2012 at 11:07 am | Report abuse |
    • Nope

      I'm hoping your misuse of the word “your” is ironic and not simply because you are uneducated.

      September 21, 2012 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
    • Janice

      *you're

      September 21, 2012 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |
    • Cindy Maddy

      You're what's wrong (illiterates).

      September 21, 2012 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sinfully Yours

      Look in a mirror and then ask yourself that same question. ;-)

      September 21, 2012 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
  3. jonathandanial

    @SinfullyYours – When was the last time you were in Pittsburgh?

    September 21, 2012 at 9:59 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Sinfully Yours

      June of 74: when I buried my grand-dad after he lost his battle with Miner's Lung.

      September 21, 2012 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
  4. Shane

    Hope all goes well. Im just outside the city right now. Dangit... traffic will be even worse.

    September 21, 2012 at 9:59 am | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Noah

    How is that Obama's fault?
    True or false Obama has decreased the unemployment rate?
    True of false Obama has ended the Iraq War and the Afghanistan War (at the end of this year)?

    September 21, 2012 at 10:01 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Not Noah

      First off, I am neither for nor against Obama so take that as you will.

      In order of your questions, the answers.
      1. He is not. Someone tried to troll you and apparently succeeded.
      2. Actually, this would be false. According to the Department of Labor statistics, while the unemployment rate has decreased, it is due to working aged adults dropping out of the job market or no longer filing unemployment claims. The number of working aged adults in the workforce has actually decreased substantially. You can find the exact numbers yourself at the Department of Labor website.
      3. (Again, I am not a fan of Bush or Obama here) George W. Bush actually signed the bilateral agreement in 2008 that mandated the timeline for troop withdrawals from both Iraq and Afghanistan. President Obama was merely fulfilling the terms of that agreement which he had no part in creating or signing.

      The biggest problem with both sides of this political season is that both are lying, omitting information and generally misleading the American people. Disgraceful by both Romney and Obama. And media outlets such as CNN and Fox News seem to be ready and willing to perpetuate this at a moment's notice.

      Anyway, back to our regularly scheduled hostage situation.

      September 21, 2012 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
    • Lovegod

      Obama wants to make sure that people don't suffer from lack of healthcare in the richest country in the world! How much is spent on the military and how much is spent on healthcare? God bless Obama

      September 21, 2012 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
  6. Jeemy

    @ Sinfully Yours

    SY you need to get out more, you clearly have never been to Pittsburgh. Poke your head out a window and get some fresh air and a more updated perspective.

    September 21, 2012 at 10:04 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Sinfully Yours

      I do so everyday here on the lovely coast of Maine. However, doing so in Pittsburgh you would get a nice lung-full of pollution. :-P

      September 21, 2012 at 10:30 am | Report abuse |
  7. Shane

    Learn to spell Pittsburgh, it's in the article.

    September 21, 2012 at 10:13 am | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Shane

    @Shirelle.. Lots of crimes? Please. Visit South Central L.A and thats crime. A shooting every now and then is not as bad as 80% of the cities in America.

    September 21, 2012 at 10:14 am | Report abuse | Reply
  9. MarineMom

    Truth..is- you are insane, this has nothing to do with Obama. And for Noah....didnt give credit where credit is not earned. We still have soldiers dieing over there everyday....If Obama had kept his promise for election 4 years ago our troops would be home now, not at the end of this year as you put it!!!!!!! And do you really believe this is going to end at the end of this year?

    September 21, 2012 at 10:16 am | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Shane

    @Shirelle... You fail as a teacher. No matter what if the H is silent you spell it out. Look on geographical maps. Where do you teach if you dont mind me asking? So I dont send my kids there.

    September 21, 2012 at 10:17 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Shane

      @Shirelle... My aunt teaches Spec. Ed. and knows more about grammar then you do. Look in geography books, U.S Maps, sports teams, and anywhere else... Theres a Pittsburg, CA and then there is Pittsburgh, PA. I really think that you need to reconsider TOTY.

      September 21, 2012 at 10:24 am | Report abuse |
    • Sinfully Yours

      @ Shane
      I am guessing you were one of her students. :-)

      September 21, 2012 at 10:41 am | Report abuse |
    • Bob

      Speaking of grammar, it's not, "knows more about grammar THEN you do," it's, "knows more about grammar THAN you do."

      September 21, 2012 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Beers

    I've lived in Pittsburgh for 32 years. I wouldn't say "Lots of Crime," but definitely rising crime. Especially East of the City. All of those suburbs are going down the toilet. But stuff like this, high profile crimes, are quite rare.

    September 21, 2012 at 10:18 am | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Shane

    @Floridian... Did you just retire to there or are you in a shell? Miami is nothing compared to anywhere in PA. Get your facts straight.

    September 21, 2012 at 10:19 am | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Tom Pirrello

    Where are you from that's so great?

    September 21, 2012 at 10:20 am | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Troll detector

    Guys he's clearly trolling, calm down.

    September 21, 2012 at 10:20 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Patrica

      i agree

      September 21, 2012 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
  15. jstei

    You people are idiots, there are lives at risk and you post like this???

    September 21, 2012 at 10:23 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Sinfully Yours

      We call that collateral damage for SWAT.

      September 21, 2012 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
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